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Participation in design between public sector and local communities

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ACM Press, New York


This paper discusses three cases where design was carried out at the intersection between public sector and citizen communities. Based on three dominant traditions meeting there--public (municipal) decision-making, Web 2.0 and participatory design--we identify challenges and solutions regarding participation and engagement of municipal workers and citizens. While this intersection is exactly where a new form of democratic participation could develop, the three traditions were, nonetheless, far from easily combined in the specific cases. The challenges that we have identified are to: Identify win-win situations, rather than to maximize participation; to work with motivation for long-term projects across municipality and communities; to identify and work with early movers, and not just representative citizens; and to create space for local municipal agencies to develop bottom-up technological solutions. The multiplicity of co-existing traditions of involvement need more focus in the future development of participatory design.


Bødker, Susanne; Zander, Pär-Ola (2015): Participation in design between public sector and local communities. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Communities and Technologies. DOI: 10.1145/2768545.2768546. ACM Press, New York. ISBN: 978-1-4503-3460-0. pp. 49-58. Long Papers. Limerick, Ireland. June, 27-30, 2015